Father Earth-The “Must-See” Film No One is Watching by Marcia Buchart

“You figure he’ll crack quick?”

“I figure,” Val Con said…”that the luck has favored us, in that Nelirikk has been so badly used… I take him for a man who possesses a strong and innate sense of Balance…If we are clever, and give him what he starves for—work, discipline, and respect—we may yet preserve him.”

from Plan B, by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

And so, I offer the solution before naming the issue, because it is all too easy to shudder at the issue and turn away before even asking whether there is a solution. On the very Friday on which I saved Venus’ sacred bee, I opened the Seattle Times to the top story of a father who had been killed by random gunfire while driving his children and parents from the airport. The very next day a man went postal in a downtown club and five more people were shot dead.

While all our eyes and minds are focused on the thrilling—but invisible!—dance between the Horns of the Great Bull, let us not forget the planets that are visible in the sky almost all the night.

Grief hangs over Seattle following senseless shootings 

Let’s think about Mars.

Night after night, since late March of last year He has kept an often lonely watch in the night sky; last May He met, all too briefly, with His Goddess lover, Venus near the baleful stare of Cetus—Rick and Ilsa sharing their last moment together.  

After their parting, only Saturn and Jupiter have kept Him distant company throughout His long months on patrol in the zodiac sign Virgo, against the constellational backdrop of the Lion.

Ewww! Mars?? Do we have to talk about Him?? Isn’t this whole time supposed to be about the special potential signified by the Venus dance?? Well, I hate to break it to you, folks, but lissen up. An ignored Mars is like the Bad Fairy at the christening: the one who has been dissed, intentionally uninvited, and who will therefore pronounce the Curse that it will take a loooonnng time for the Heroes and Heroines symbolized by all those multiple conjunctions  to resolve.(Remember those? See Preview of Coming Attractions post)

Quoting from that post:
This whole series of events is a mammoth sequence of conjunctions—Venus with the Pleiades, Venus with El Nath, Sun with Jupiter, the solar eclipse of May 20th, Jupiter with Mercury, Mercury with the Sun (where He sheds His worn-out Explorer’s leathers for His Administrative robes , Mercury with Venus, Venus with the Sun, Venus turning away from a conjunction with Jupiter, Venus with Aldebaran, Venus with Chi1 Orionis [the business end of Orion’s club].
OMG, this whole sequence will last until August 6!

To put it bluntly: if He is dissed, He’ll kill your ass, bitches. And there are very few zodiac signs that are more dissed than Virgo.

Mars began His long stay in zodiac sign Virgo in early November 2011. He spent a looooonnnng retrograde in Virgo and will finally leave Virgo for Libra on July 3rd. “Whew!” many may be saying. Even some archetypally oriented astrologers have shaken their heads over Mars in Virgo; Adam Gainsburg has noted a special tension in people with this placement. So it is perhaps unsurprising that, while all the shooting insanity was occurring in the Seattle area, (Dec 02 1869, 12 noon, Olympia, WA) while in hard aspect to that chart’s Destiny Axis (Midheaven and Lower Heaven).  What can the planet of direct, sometimes brutal action find at all convivial about supposedly picky, detail-oriented Virgo?

One thinks of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Coriolanus, of the warrior who cannot cope with civilized life

(“Who am I without my sword?”).

No swords in civilized life? Think again.

U.S. Air Force surgeons Dr. Patrick Miller (left), Dr. Michael Hughes (right), and surgical technician SrA Ray Wilson from the 379th Expeditionary Medical Squadron, repair the ruptured achilles tendon of a servicemember on March 11, 2003. The doctors are performing this surgey at a field hospital in a foward-deployed location. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt. DERRICK C. GOODE)(RELEASED)

Consider these deeply necessary, detail-demanding endeavors, at the mastery involved in bringing fire, sharp implements and brute strength (all ruled by Mars) under fine control…

Watching this mastery is riveting. I once stood for a half hour at a blacksmith’s booth in a Renaissance Faire, marveling at the precision with which this person struck the blade he was building.

At a granite finishing shop I watched a gnarled gnome of a man work for a solid hour on polishing the same two-foot section of marble slab.  I watched a physician with hands that seemed much too large for the task tease away the scars and scabs from the stitches in my husband’s hand before deftly drawing them. At dinner overlooking Elliot Bay, I watched two tugboats maneuver a monstrous vessel to berth.  Homely, ugly, battered little craft, ridiculous-looking tires lining their bows and sides, pivoting like dancers in the water as they passed the towing cable between them. The power implied by their maneuvers took my breath away. Watch Tugboats Working

No nobility in what used to be termed “honest work”? That’s certainly how it seems Governor Scott Walker and the plutocrats who back him see it. And wasn’t it interesting that a bid to topple him took place on the very day of the Venus Transit? “Way to go!” some of us (me) thought; “Get the Goddess (Venus) championing the Virgo Mars!”


That special conjunction of Sun and Venus was not only in challenging (90°) aspect to Mars. She did so while engaging in Sacred Marriage with one of the celestial bodies that Babylonian astrologers believed symbolized the King (Sun). Of course Scott Walker (the local king) won. BUT! the Martial underdog (Virgo) forces also won: Wisconsin’s senate wrested control from their King’s party.

If you click on this link to  you will hear a fascinating discussion between Adam Gainsburg and Eric Francis on Mars’ retrograde cycle “lassoing the Lion”. The Lion, of course is Leo, the actual constellational backdrop for this whole drama taking place in the sky. I watched those tugs lassoing the giant beast of a ship and turning it to guide it into its berth. Astonishing.

In another recent podcast, Adam Gainsburg asked with the new beginnings of Divine Feminine consciousness being forged in the heat of the solar transits—the Solar Feminine—where was the rest of the revolution: where were “Father Earth” and “Mother Sky”? Mother Sky has been with us since at least the days of ancient Egypt, in the magnificent depictions of Nut, the goddess who represents the entire night sky. See the following link to a lovely Visual Astrology Newsletter speaking of the return of this Goddess.

But where is “Father Earth”?

With Mars in Virgo, I would offer this idea: He is right under our noses, and we’ve ignored Him just as we so often ignore the daily details of our lives that require focus, precision and exactitude in execution. Chop wood, carry water. Even the most spectacular of Martial idols…Olympic athletesperhaps?…have put in untold hours of Mars-in-Virgo practice to earn their right to compete for the prize.

Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration (thank you, Thomas Edison)? Believe it.

Don’t miss this opportunity, people: consider in what area of your own life you may need to apply that 99% perspiration to master focus, precision, strength, the symbolic cutting forces of fire and steel. (Contact Claudia and/or Carol for help in figuring this out.)

Consider it now, because, after July 3rd, your window of opportunity to honor and cultivate what we often dis—to give that part of yourself what He starves for: work, discipline and respect—won’t come again for another two years.

The world can’t wait that long. Neither can the Divine Feminine, riding the Horns of the Great Bull, Who longs for union with the Divine Masculine in Love:

“…the sense of having striven against an obstacle and survived is absolutely essential…It is our refusal to recognize this that makes Mars malefic. It is my opinion that only when your Mars has functioned at this level can you love. You can’t love if you don’t know who and what you are and you can’t find that out unless you have striven against resistance and measured yourself against it.”

Robert Hand, “Handling the Malefics” in Essays on Astrology.

Music at the Wake for those killed in Seattle shooting in May 2012

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but seriously folks…

Astrology is an ancient and intriguing discipline. I take it very seriously.  One can learn about oneself, the cycles of one’s life, current events, history, cosmology, relationships. We can get all worked up over eclipses, transits and things that go bump in the night.

As an astrologer–it is my job to empower you as you explore possibilities, what to do at certain times or how to look forward and make responsible plans or look back at your life and make meaning out of the past. I think it is the astrologer’s job to offer assistance as you wander through life’s peaks and valleys.  It is also my job (as I see it) to do my homework, work with integrity, study my craft, all the while weaving together the disciplines and research that allow us to experience aliveness, empowerment and an understanding of what it means to be human.

So–this week (upon returning from NORWAC–the Northwest Astrology Conference held in Seattle every year)—I am charged with the rather daunting task of sharing the wisdom I gained while studying my craft –


Question: What is the proper way to begin a conference and serious course of study?

Answer:  by laughing your head off… 

On Friday, Rick Tarnas conducted a seminar titled—The Comic Genius: An Archetypal Perspective

Tarnas on numbers of occasions joins John Cleese for what must be wonderful ways to spend a life!  Tarnas and Cleese at California Institute of Integral Studies

We spent the day watching various clips from Cleese’s Monty Python series and other comedians and entertainers.  We looked at their charts–and frankly in this day and age of rather serious events and transits that indicate a momentous time in our history—-laughing and remembering the healing power of laughter was a gift from the Celestial Comedy Gods.

Tarnas pointed out Mercury and Mars contacts in Cleese’s chart speaking to the notion that the mind takes in information (I’m not quoting him exactly – just from my memory and notes) and then one must defend the ideas. Cleese thrives on the thrust and counter thrust—Tarnas noted that he generally begins his pieces with an argument—a contest.

 Argument Clinic


Cleese also has a T-Square to Uranus and Tarnas points out thatbest humorists—have a high Uranian component”—the trickster (Mercury ) saying that which is taboo (Uranus). Think about some of your Aquarian friends—they are often the ones who at some point in the meeting–point at the elephant in the room with an innocent expression—stopping us in our tracks, so to speak. Tricksters indeed.  

And talk about talking about that which is taboo!  

John Cleese delivered a memorable memorial speech for Graham Chapman at a memorial service held two months later in the Great Hall at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Cleese delivered a humorous eulogy for his friend Chapman and took advantage of “this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf,” which he then went on to do.

Part of the speech is included below:

Video of Eulogy for Graham

Graham Chapman, co-author of the ‘Parrot Sketch,’ is no more.

He has ceased to be, bereft of life, he rests in peace, he has kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the Great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky.

And I guess that we’re all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability for kindness, for such unusual intelligence, a man who could overcome his alcoholism with such truly admirable single-mindedness, should now so suddenly be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight before he’d achieved many of the things in which he was capable, and before he’d had enough fun.

Well, I feel that I should say, ‘Nonsense! Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard. I hope he fries.’ And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn’t. If I threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. It’s not a funeral, I grant you, but a memorial service is still pretty good.

It is magnificent, isn’t it? You see, the thing about shock . . . is not that it upsets some people, I think; I think that it gives others a momentary joy of liberation, as we realized in that instant that the social rules that constrict our lives so terribly are not actually very important.

Well, Gray can’t do that for us anymore. He’s gone. He is an ex-Chapman. All we have of him now is our memories. But it will be some time before they fade.
Cheer up—you know what they say:

Always look on the bright side of life…

Tarnas pointed out that great comics have strong Sun / Saturn components in their charts. That is to say that the Sun and Saturn are in some aspect to each other or prominent by house or sign—they are, if you will, in ‘conversation’ and depending on the nature of the relationship it becomes apparent how the comedic archetype takes hold in their manner of delivery.

One example a classic Sun/Saturn comedian is Woody Allen  who also has Jupiter in the mix such that even the expanding universe is cause for worry.

Woody Allen’s chart

 He said among many things:  I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. 

Colbert at Rally to restore sanity and/or fear 2010

Steven Colbert was born with the Saturn opposing Pluto conjoining Uranus era in 1964. This funny progressive liberal (Uranus) is a trickster cloaked as a conservative Fox News Commentator. He pretends to be the opposite of what he really thinks and says of himself. It is the only way he can stay sane—to laugh. He says if he didn’t – he’d cry. Did you see him at the Correspondent’s Dinner in 2006? Actually the clip watching Bush’s face is equally as interesting as the court jester speaks and shocks and gets away with it as only the court jester can do.  (you can click on the chart for an enlarged image)

Only the best comics (Court Jesters) can pull it off. Tarnas played the clip of Colbert interviewing the head of Ploughshares (an anti-nuclear organization) — the interview itself is a poignant example of the current SaturnUranus-Pluto catastrophe. Colbert begins the interview and with a serious face asks if the head of Ploughshares will “at least admit that a nuclear explosion is awesome”


And I cannot forget my favorite Ernestine aka Lily Tomlin. Able to transform into character after character—the characters are real and have a structured presence as well as that Uranian shock effect. Tomlin was born under the 1939 Saturn Pluto square, has Mercury squaring Uranus and her Virgo Sun opposing Saturn. She can make us laugh at ourselves as she becomes aspects that we often want to hide, but never fail to recognize.

Here she is as Tommy Velour w/ Michael Jackson & Elizabeth Taylor 2009  

And on the Johnny Carson show–she talks about all her characters–Johnny Carson was my dad’s favorite comic.  I’ll bet my dad has some similar planets in his chart–he was one funny guy. (gotta go look)

Spent time today going off on my own for a while, looking at charts of people/friends I think are funny. I am seeing how Mercury and Uranus and Saturnine flavors are present in their charts.  I see how those archetypes come alive when laughter just erupts around the dinner table.

Just think about when you are watching Jon Stewart (I don’t have his chart) or laughing with your friends as you or one of them says something that just has you almost on the floor. It is generally unexpected, taking you over and  — then it begins to take hold and even if you wanted it to end…you just can’t stop——Laughing.

Laughter loosens up the body, the heart and the mind and I’ll bet we can find all kinds of medical reasons for it being a healthy thing to do – and do a lot. One of the people I laugh with on a regular basis is my sister, Peggy. We just think about each other and the jokes start coming. Sister jokes. My favorite kind! Best friend uncontrollable laughter often accompanied with trips down memory lane (Saturn) when something erupted and took over and we had to pull over to the side of the road if driving. Those times make life worth living, the comedic archetype and the astrological signatures worth looking at. A hell of a homework assignment for this student!

In honor of my Gemini sister and Gemini friends with whom I have shared a world of laughter here is a clip from Victor Borge. He was our grandmother Peggy’s favorite comedian—and since my funny sis, Peggy, has a birthday this month, I chose Borge to honor her and our Nanny Peggy. Borge was a Capricorn, a classical musician with his Sun conjoining Uranus, Mercury opposing Neptune.  


Borge famously said: “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people”.

Here’s laughin’ with you kids…


Birthday Song performed 2007         Victor Borge

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Mercury sits directly down

Mercury--go sit down!

Has your boat been rocking for the past few weeks?  Go ahead blame Mercury Retrograde.  He can handle it–but just for the record–he’s had help.

Look at who is in the boat with Mercury: Yup—Uranus, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and just recently, the Sun.


We’re in a boat in choppy waters and Mercury is just running backwards, dancing, yelling stuff at the captain.  Wrecking havoc it seemed to me.

Let’s just look for a moment at Himself-that winged messenger.

Mercury from Raphael's Manual of Astrology 1828
Mercury from Raphael's Manual of Astrology 1828

Perhaps not shooting the messenger and listening now that the winds have died down just a little bit might be useful.

It is said that when Mercury goes retrograde (appears to be moving backwards from earthlings point of view) that one needs to put the prefix “re” in front of everything—review, revise, rethink, reverse, renew, re-whatever. And Mercury goes retrograde about 3 times a year for about 3 weeks at a time. He turned around on March 30th and then just today he stopped and is now facing forward—ready to move in a forward direction. Hooray, I say. This genius has played tricks on me and mine for the last 3 weeks and I’m ready to move on.

There are some pretty great stories about this Mercury guy—he was called Hermes in Greek mythology.

Erin Sullivan writes about Mercury/Hermes in her book Retrograde Planets, Traversing the Inner Landscape:

In the Homeric Hymns we read of the birth of Hermes: ‘He was born at dawn, by midday he was playing the lyre, and in the evening he stole the cattle of far-shooting Apollo.” This show him to be a trickster par excellence, as well as having great charm: to make and play the lyre he inveigled a tortoise out of its own shell. The story when that Hermes, restless after his birth, set off in search of the cattle of his brother Apollo, and en route happened upon a tortoise. When great charm he told the hapless tortoise he would make a good dinner companion indeed he did, because Hermes promptly ate him for dinner! Hermes also promised the tortoise that he would make beautiful music when he was dead. The tortoise’s shell was to become the prototype lyre which Hermes eventually gave to Apollo to appease him for the theft of the cattle.
This cattle theft has a most remarkable aspect. Hermes ‘made their hoofs go backward, the front one last and the back ones first; he himself walked straight ahead.’ This is the literary origin of the dualistic path and deceptive brilliance of Hermes the Trickster, and the first hint of his retrograde characteristic. Only minutes before, he had been happily playing his new lyre, but ‘his heart was set on other pursuits’. Versatile, wily, double-edged Hermes, doing one thing while planning another. The hiding of the cattle in the case of the Sun god Apollo is an apt metaphor for the retrogression of Mercury as it trots ‘back’ towards the Sun hiding from Earth view, only to re-emerge later as the redeemed morning star. (p.46)

In the night sky stories Mercury is the messenger—he often has the “ear of the King”.  There are 8 million stories in the naked city :).

Look at where this boat ride has been rocking in your life (what house are Mercury and company jumping around in?). That is where Mercury has been telling the captain to wait, whoa, look back, we’re being followed—terrible things just might happen!

(Mercury is now at 12 degree Aries  – find where that would land in your chart)

Wherever Mercury is transiting your chart is where you have probably noticed yourself chewing gum and walking at the same time while trying to concentrate. You may have been a bit more on edge, or perhaps confronted by something or someone. You may have been busier than usual in that area of your life, perhaps finding broken things — things that require your attention and aren’t what you had in mind for that day.   Saturn has been on the other side of the issues (Saturn is opposing all that Aries activity) trying to keep order, drawing lines in the sand and either having you feel like you have to be the adult or someone is “out-adulting” you.  Jesh.

This boat has been rocking and rolling through the 4th house of my natal chart. The area of life having to do with home, real estate, roots, my core, where I hang my hat. So–Among other things, there is a new leak in the sunroom, the heater broke. We are going to meetings for emergency preparedness after the sirens went off here at the coast. Home and security and land being threatened—fear abounding. It has felt like I “lost my footing”. We are re-viewing lists of things one will need to remember in a crisis. All of that.

Quoting Erin Sullivan again:

“Mercury acts as an agent for recollection –anamnesis—and for the curing of the soul through illumination. Any information, event, fact or awareness that Mercury surfaces with in the course of the retrograde cycle is completely within character and totally relevant to the needs of the individual. In this way, Mercury acts as a civilizing agent. “(p.54).

As I am writing, I am seeing in retrospect, that the guy yelling and waving his arms at the captain and rocking the boat is pointing at exactly what I need to address—fear itself. Ah, I see.

Can’t beat that line—nope—we have nothing to fear but fear itself? Thanks Franklin.

What lessons might you have gleaned from this period of review?

Head on over to this post by Theresa Jordan. Helped me get all this.She is a fine fine writer: this post is called Choosing our Battles

Whatever you say you have learned will, I assure you, serve you well as the boat goes forward.

Hermes is also known as a soul guide. I think I’m going to look for a harp – oh wait—there is one in the heavens called Lyre. Guess I’m moving forward.


Back soon with a harp a song and perhaps something about the star Vega.

Mars & Venus: A Balance of Power by John Wadsworth

There are several articles I think you’ll enjoy by John Wadsworth at his site: The Alchemical Journey

Mars & Venus: A Balance of Power

By John Wadsworth – The Alchemical Journey | Published: APRIL 19, 2011
Botticelli Venus and Mars

The Sun enters Taurus mid-morning tomorrow (Wednesday 20th April), but it might not quite feel like it, as most of the planets remain in Aries for a few weeks more. Venus rules Taurus, and even though this is traditionally her season, she does not seem to have the upper hand…yet, at least not until she enters Taurus in mid-May. Uranus has now established itself in Aries and Mercury is still retrograde in Aries until Saturday, playing tricks with our communication channels. Mars and Jupiter are gearing up for a potentially explosive conjunction in Aries at the beginning of May, which should release huge amounts of energy and is a good time for seizing the initiative, but suggests the unleashing of a lot of raw anger and passion too, with Mars so strong around that time. And Venus also enters Aries on Thursday, the goddess armed and ready for action, and fuelling Mars’s fire in the process!

‘Mother Earth’ by Jenness Cortez

This is the picture for the next few weeks until all the faster moving planets (Mercury, Venus & Mars) move into Taurus by the 16th May. With Venus in her dignity between 16th May and 10th June, and with Mars under her dominion again, there exists the possibility of “ceasefire” in both personal and global conflicts, if only temporarily, and there is more of an opportunity for love, peace and reconciliation, and the honouring of Mother Earth and an awareness of the need to establish balance. Indeed this is likely to be the part of the next cycle that feels most Taurean!  continue at:   The Alchemical Journey 

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